au·​tar·​ky ˈȯ-ˌtär-kē How to pronounce autarky (audio)
: self-sufficiency, independence
specifically : national economic self-sufficiency and independence
: a policy of establishing a self-sufficient and independent national economy

Examples of autarky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After decades of political purges, economic autarky, and suffocating social control under Mao Zedong, Deng began stabilizing Chinese politics, removing bans on private enterprise and foreign investment and giving individuals greater freedom in their daily lives. Kevin Rudd, Foreign Affairs, 9 Nov. 2022 Mulder argues that instead of keeping the peace, this form of economic warfare aggravated the tensions of the 1930s, encouraging austerity and autarky and restraining smaller states but backfiring against the larger authoritarian ones, such as Italy. Nicholas Mulder, Foreign Affairs, 14 Dec. 2021 In this world, American autarky just will not work. Time, 11 Oct. 2022 Once a backward autarky, Russia now had real banks and a stock exchange. WSJ, 15 June 2022 Putin and his inner circle are the only ones who aspire to Russian autarky. Nate Sibley, National Review, 23 Feb. 2022 But punitive Western sanctions could thrust Russia back into a period of relative autarky, where it is forced to adapt to relative economic self-sufficiency, says Emma Ashford, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Mar. 2022 A hundred people living in face-to-face autarky, a seasonal festival site like Burning Man: even these could, in the right circumstances, count as cities. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Review of Books, 16 Dec. 2021 By the last half-century of the rule of the czars, Alexander III was shoring up his absolute autarky by bloody means, such as passing the infamous May Laws that set off hundreds of pogroms against the Russian empire’s Jews. Nicholas Clairmont, Washington Examiner, 4 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'autarky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin autarkia, borrowed from Greek autárkeia "self-sufficiency," derivative of autárkēs "self-sufficient, strong enough on one's own," from aut- aut- + -arkēs, adjective derivative from the stem of arkéō, arkeîn "to hold off, repel, provide defense, assist, be sufficient, be satisfied" — more at ark

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of autarky was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near autarky

Cite this Entry

“Autarky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

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